Trading tips for gutting, transferring, and carving the real thing.
I've been using Zombie Pumpkins for years now but I've never used the forum & just created an acct. I tried to post some pictures, but it's not working for me - no clue what I'm doing wrong! I'm trying to use the pictures I posted on FB.

Anyways, I'm interested in what some fellow pumpkin carving enthusiasts think about pumpkin carving kits. What are your favorites & where do you buy them? I've been using the cheap-o store bought ones & every year my hands hurt for days after Halloween!

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By Kayo
well you can always buy the pro carving tools in the shocking shop, or use any number of things ranging from the pumpkin masters saws, i have used my xacto knife with wood carving attachments and pairing knives before. pretty much anything you can use to carve the pumpkin can be used. :)
By leid1911
I guess more specifically I'm looking for a battery operated saw that will last.
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By Raven
I've been having trouble posting pics and sometimes posts, too. It's the forums I think, nothing you are not doing right.

I use the ZP pro carving tool in the shop here. I bought a battery powered saw one year but the only thing it's good for is sawing the lids open. I had no control when doing a pattern with it.
By leid1911
Love your makeup RavensDestiny!
I use a carving knife on top, then the battery powered saw for any of the big parts, and 2 different small saws on the more delicate parts of the pumpkin.
I'm pretty sure my friends think I'm a freak about pumpkins because none of them do much of anything. Even my bestie only carves a neat, but standard jack-o-lantern face because I give her a pattern. Every year I get tons of compliments because a lot of people haven't seen anything like it, but I know mine are modest compared to many I've seen pictures of. Actually, hardly anyone in our neighborhood even decorates for Halloween! I love that my daughter (4 y.o.) thinks it's awesome that our house looks scary!
I guess I could just get the saw kit from ZP & buy a new battery powered saw every other year. I can usually get 2 years out of them if I'm careful! I figured someone had come out with a better battery saw than what Walmart sells, but maybe not!!
Now I'm trying to decide if I want to take the time to carve one of my foam pumpkins before tonight...
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By Zombie Pumpkins!
Hey leid1911, thanks for joining the forum! That's awesome that you're representing Halloween with strong spirit... gotta pick up the slack if your friends and neighbors aren't doing their share.

As for the best tools... I'll agree with what has been said already. Personally, I never had much luck with battery-powered saws, because they move to fast to give you control around fine details. Sure helps with hand cramping if you do a ton of pumpkins though.
Go with ZP's tool set. I'm always looking for the next greatest tool, but always go back to that wooden handle and saw. Sorry I missed out on the orange set though. :cry:

A good key hole saw is great for top or bottom cutting though. Found my Great grandfathers rusted up one the other day in the garage, threw it in my box and hope it brings me some of that family history to my carves.
Im going to say the same thing about the electric saws as the others.

Bought mine 5-6 seasons ago. Used exactly once. Now it just sits in the bottom of my pumpkin carving toolbox.

I have a coarse / thick saw that i use for lids.

The zp tool works well for that too (and im less afraid to use it for that now that i know where to get replacement blades from)

The rest of my saws are either home grown (scroll saw blade mounted in dowel) or collected. My go to saws are a pm "detail" saw that i use for "medium" work and a foam pumpkin sa i use for the finest work.
I got my carving kit from Warren Cutlery in Redhook NY. I use wood carving knives. i can interchange the blade to whatever i like.

Actually the owner mentioned Zombie. I was OMG i Love HIM :) and he said, "you know he get his stuff here." I said, "I bet. You got Great Stuff!" :)

Anyways, a good wood carving set works great.
Hands down, I <3 my Zombie Pumpkins carving tool. I have two and really need to get a few more for the yearly carving party. I have others that I've acquired over the years. The battery powered ones simply don't have the fine level of control. And, really, trust me, that sucker is carbon freakin' steel. It saws through the pumpkin like nobody's business.
I have to agree, I've collected carving tools from a dozen+ sets over the years and the zombie pumpkin tool it the gem of the bunch. My fav for real pumpkins in particular.
Carving for eight hours yesterday I have found my four favorite tools...

ZP Carving handle with small blade
ZP Carving handle with Large Blade
Grandpa's old Key Hole Saw with rust on it from over a 100 years ago.
Large round clay tool smooth one side, teeth on other to clean with. (Like the pear but rounder) It is the most amazing tool to clean with, pumpkin guts come out in strips...

Oh and my newly stickered orange tool box. Loved the new stickers Ryan!
Before I knew about ZP's kit, I made my own


The 3 on the bottom, are for real pumpkins. They're made from Bosch jigsaw blades (for wood) and hand-carved wooden dowels. I also use the X-acto keyhole saw, in the the top row, for precise detail work.

All together, I think everything cost me less than $25, for all the tools pictured.